• Nicole Burke

Farm (LIFE) Data

We document many things on the farm, planting and harvest data, varieties, yields, etc. What about documenting the farm LIFE data, the experiences and memories of farm life too?

Since my first planting season, I have written about each busy season: how the season went, my thoughts, feelings, and just general things that I want to remember about that specific season of our lives. It has been super helpful for me to write and process everything. I write (type) about things I enjoyed and that went well and also the things I want to work on or try to do better the following season.

Not only do I enjoy having this almost “journal” about farming and our lives, my husband also enjoys having something to look back upon for a general summary of how that season went. It is by no means technical or data driven, but it is still a log of the relational side of farming year after year. It is amazing how quickly we can forget some of the smaller nuisances, details and experiences, even in a year or two!

It also really highlights the fact that no two years or seasons on the farm are the same. Weather plays a huge role in this. Some planting seasons like 2018 for us lasted less than a month from beginning to end; we planted all of our corn acres in one week. But then 2019 rolls around and is the longest, latest planting season most farmers have experienced in their lifetime. 2020 ended up being more similar to 2018, which is such a blessing and a relief for us (Thank You Jesus), especially with everything else going on in the world right now.

So I encourage you for your own records, insights and memories, write it out. When you finish planting this year, or if you already have, write down some of your thoughts, feelings, memorable moments, really anything about this planting season, and then do it again after harvest. It is fun to go back and read about what you were thinking and experiencing in that specific season. Plus, it’s much less daunting to start journaling if you only have to do it a few times a year lol, in my case after planting and harvest. The busy seasons may look different on your farm and include other times of the year that you want to write about like calving.

What were some of the highlights, challenges and hilarious moments? I’m sure everyone would include a little something about COVID-19, definitely the most defining factor of spring 2020. Mine includes the joys of date nights riding in the cab, thankfulness for our first planting season as a married couple (I am so grateful we got married last June), letterboard fun, a week of rain delay but overall quick planting, and getting to help haul seed for the first time!

Let me know if you do this journaling idea and what are a few things that sum up #Plant2020 for your farm family?

Sincerely xoxo,

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